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Messages - staehpj1

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Routes / Re: Three weeks - Pacific Coast or Sierra Cascades
« on: January 09, 2016, 10:33:38 am »
For that time frame the Pacific Coast is the way to go.

It depends on how traffic tolerant you are, but I found the roads to be fine.  Some of it is fairly remote, at one point there were even free range cattle on the roadway.  The terrain is quite variable and interesting.

May can be pretty wet on the coast though.

I didn't care for the Washington portion of my Seattle to San Luis Obispo ride, but it was a relatively small part of the ride.

It probably isn't even an option at that time anyway, but I will say that the SC route is extremely challenging.  It is also very hard to pick a time and direction of travel that will not expose you to some pretty extreme temperatures.  We had 110+ F and overnight frost in the same 48 hour period.  We started in June in the south and still found services not yet open in most of Yosemite.  My guess would be that starting in the north would require an even later start, but I have only ridden the southern half S-N.

General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: January 03, 2016, 08:45:54 am »
On the original question.  I like that they are simple, work well, are very reliable, and are out of the way.

Yes indeed, and that is their main disadvantage.  They are out of the way when you really need to get to them.
I think that there can be a few factors in that.  Compared to bar ends I find them about the same as far as ease of reaching them if not a little easier.  For me they are pretty much the same height as bar ends but further back.  That is at least in part because I ride a fairly small frame and have my bars pretty low.  Folks with larger frames and higher bars will see more difference.  The fact that I spent a lot of years using down tube shifters is a factor as well.

I have found that with bar ends I tend to bang them with my knee, again may not be an issues with a different frame or different cockpit setup.  Maybe a minor annoyance, but I also found that bar ends tended to get bumped out of gear when the bike was leaned against a wall, or railing.

Routes / Re: Safety of Southern Tier near Border
« on: January 02, 2016, 01:16:46 pm »
I didn't consider it especially dangerous when I rode it.

General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: January 02, 2016, 01:14:52 pm »
Pete Staehling is the only person I've seen advocating for downtube shifters.
Not sure I exactly advocate for them, but I do like them pretty well myself.  I also like brifters quite well, but have a dislike of bar end shifters.

On the original question.  I like that they are simple, work well, are very reliable, and are out of the way.

Gear Talk / Re: Lookin for rain poncho
« on: December 30, 2015, 06:51:21 am »
I really don't think I would want to ride in a poncho.  There is something called a rain cape that might suit you.  Google "rain cape cycling".  I never tried one though.  I just expect to get wet and wear a windproof jacket over clothing that is warm enough when wet.

Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain HELP
« on: December 29, 2015, 10:21:09 am »
Your lbs has mislead you at best, outright lied to you at worst. Shimano square taper bb's are widely available and cheap, and remain the bb of choice for cycle tourists.
I agree that square taper is fine, but would question whether they are necessarily "the bb of choice for cycle tourists".  If I were building from scratch I would at least consider a more modern choice.  I wouldn't change cranks and BB to get away from a square taper though.

General Discussion / Re: Riding Amtrak from Washington DC to Cumberland MD
« on: December 26, 2015, 09:04:32 am »
I have not ridden that line with bike and gear, but have taken trains and other public transportation quite a bit before.  I have taken a few approaches.

One was to strap the pairs of bags together to make 4 panniers into two items.  The clerk said it was fine, but this was on a different line and I have heard of others being told that it wasn't.

A safer bet is to buy a cheap duffle bag and cram everything in it.  Walmart has the "Protege 32" Expandable Rolling Duffel Bag" for $14.  I have used them a number of times for a flight home and all my gear usually fit, but if you need more space they have a smaller model that you can put the overflow in and take as a carry on.  I typically buy them in the city where I finish my tour, but other options are possible.  You could ship it to yourself via general delivery; or arrange for a bike shop, warm showers host, or motel you plan to stay at to accept it and hold it for you.  Once the bags start to get pretty beat up I use them to get to the start of a tour and throw them away.

If you must carry it on the bike with you they make big light bags for backpackers to carry large backpacks in.

Another option would be to find a cardboard box or boxes a suitable size and pack them up.  I have flown this way with no issues.

General Discussion / Re: (Catastrophic) injury insurance while cycling?
« on: December 26, 2015, 08:47:43 am »
The only reason I can see for additional coverage is if your current coverage wouldn't cover you while on tour.  For example if you will be in a country that they won't cover you.  I really don't see a tour as increasing the likelihood of serious injury.  You could be just as easily be injured in your normal daily life.  I figure that I am more likely to suffer serious injury around town at home than when on tour.

Basically, my opinion boils down to this.  If you need additional coverage you need it all the time, going on a tour doesn't cause a need for additional coverage IMO.

General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: December 24, 2015, 10:12:52 am »
I also run for a living so I'm fairly use to running 10-15 miles a day and only eating an apple before/after for example.

I congratulate you, sir, for the most excellent troll.  You kept us all going for two months!

For the rest of the group, is it better not to respond to a troll?  Or, knowing these threads get randomly pulled up years later, is it necessary to respond to mis-information that might get someone in trouble if not corrected?
Not sure that makes him a troll.  I don't run for a living, but I have been a very active trail runner on and off in the past and often went out to run 10-15 miles before breakfast.  I do find that on tour I prefer to nibble pretty much constantly, but I have no reason to doubt his comment.  As far as leading others astray, he didn't suggest that others could necessarily do likewise.

General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: December 22, 2015, 04:37:29 pm »
There's no need to get a hotel even in the worst of the worst weather but to each their own.
Need? Maybe not, but a tour is a vacation not a test of how much you can suffer through.  So it isn't unreasonable to get a room now and then. I have weathered some pretty bad weather camping, but also have gotten a room when I felt like it.  Nothing wrong with either way.

General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: December 22, 2015, 11:49:21 am »
Ummmm - 90 stops?
Don't overplan - it never turns out the way you plan it.
A rigid schedule can become a straight-jacket.
Yeah, I find that it works out best to just wing it and be flexible.  A rigid schedule would suck much of the joy out of the trip for me.

I do look ahead a few days in the west just because the wide spacing of towns might affect where I choose to stop today, so I can make a particular town tomorrow.  Otherwise you may unnecessarily wind up having to do a lot longer or shorter day than you want.  Big climbs may factor in as well.  In the heat I try to hit them in the AM when possible and may choose stops based on that.  I definitely never plan my stops more that three days ahead.

That said, the majority of the time I don't know for sure where I will be stopping until I am there.  With that approach we still managed to spend on average less than $5 per day for camping/lodging on the TA.

General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: December 22, 2015, 09:23:37 am »
Slight change of subject on this thread but i am actually interested in the wheres and hows for camping on the TA route.
Two points that may help...
1. The ACA does a pretty good job of documenting places to stay along the route including free ones.
2. Using the ACA recommended places will help you get a feel for what is and isn't OK, which will vary some depending on where you are.  Impromptu camping gets stickier near either coast, and is usually pretty well accepted in the middle of the country especially in small towns.

General Discussion / Re: bike vs. bike
« on: December 19, 2015, 07:26:30 pm »
My style leans toward a heavier load and a touring bike to carry the load and me, while Pete is one of the main proponents of ultra-light loading and normal road bikes.
That is true enough, but even when I was doing heavy touring I still didn't like the more truck like touring bikes.  So I don't think they are a slam dunk for everyone, even fairly heavily loaded tourists.  It is tough for someone new to touring to know what they will prefer until they have at least a few hundred touring miles under their belt.  For someone who doesn't know, I do think erring on the truck side is a safer bet, since some folks don't find the twitchier bikes as safe.

General Discussion / Re: bike vs. bike
« on: December 19, 2015, 04:51:47 pm »
I think it is personal preference. I like my bikes a bit more nimble than dedicated touring bikes tend to be.  Some people feel the opposite. 

Routes / Re: Southern Tier with no camping?
« on: December 18, 2015, 05:53:24 pm »
I wasn't really paying that much attention to whether it would be possible to motel it when I was riding the ST, but my impression is that there would be some pretty long days.  Maybe going off route in places might help, but I am not sure you could do it without doing some 80-100+ mile days.  Even then it would involve a lot of planning and length of riding days would be dictated by available lodging so you would likely have some very long and some very short days.  I recall there being a lot of empty space.

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